Impact Report 2019 – Letter from Eva Gladek, Metabolic Founder and CEO

Published on the 28th of May 2020
Eva Gladek_Systems Thinking_Metabolic

As we approach the midpoint of 2020, we can see that our organizational mission – transitioning the economy to a sustainable state – has never been more critical than it is today.

In the midst of a crisis that is testing us in unprecedented ways, people around the world have a more tangible understanding of the importance of resilience, and of the scale of challenges we need to be prepared to address as a civilization. The groundswell of positive momentum towards ‘building back better’ is remarkable. Now is the time to double down on our efforts.

Metabolic’s overarching goal is to drive systems change. This makes measuring our impact inherently challenging. By design, our efforts are intended to catalyze behavioral shifts, market transformation, and the adoption of new policies. These processes take time and are never the work of a single organization; we build on the work of our peers and they build on ours.

However, as we look back on the collected efforts of our work over the past years, there are clear patterns and stories that emerge. Core to our founding mission was an urge to push the boundaries of conventional consulting and turn ideas, concepts, and reports into real, functioning models. With one of our first ever projects, the development of circular economy living lab, De Ceuvel, we planted the seed of our continued work with cities on their journey toward a circular and resilient economy. Year on year, the relationships we have built with our corporate, government, and non-profit partners have deepened. Research and strategy studies grew into pilot projects, and are now reaching critical mass through the engagement of stakeholders and the deployment of scalable tools. It is exciting to see how these efforts, layered together, are gaining momentum and leading to genuine change – not just in the Netherlands, our home base, but in countries around the world where we are now actively working.

From the earliest days, our plan was to build out an ecosystem of organizations and specialized ventures that could work together to tackle the myriad dynamic, complex sustainability challenges we face, using their own unique approaches and strengths. Our consulting arm became our first vehicle for change, followed by the launch of a spin-off company, Spectral, specialized on the renewable energy transition, and the Metabolic Foundation, focused on democratizing technology and community-driven development. Since then, we have made strides in building out an ecosystem of several more key entities which function symbiotically under the Metabolic umbrella, including Metabolic Institute, Metabolic Ventures, and Systemic. This impact report reviews some of the key outcomes and projects we have undertaken across all of the entities in the Metabolic ecosystem over the course of the last year. 

As we look to the future with our impact objectives front and centre, we’ve got a long way to go and much hard work to come – but we are optimistic about what we can achieve collectively. More than ever before, this decade of transformation calls on us to embrace collaboration over competition, share knowledge, and support like-minded organizations. If your work is focused in a similar direction and you see ways forward together, please do reach out to us. 

Read the Metabolic Impact Report

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